was successfully added to your cart.

Watson University’s 21st Century College Degree

By April 8, 2014 No Comments


This fall, Watson University is launching a revolutionary new degree designed to equip the most promising members of the next generation with the skills, tools, and network they need to solve the toughest social, economic, and environmental challenges facing the world.

Through Watson’s new degree track, students can graduate with a bachelor’s degree in just 2.5 years, as global citizens with experience in several countries worldwide, a network of world-class mentors, and rigorous training in skills needed to create change, all for a price tag significantly less than the average college degree and no student loans.

watson degree

The context:
Bloomberg: the cost of the degree has increased 12 fold in the past 30 years, yet graduate salaries have been flat for much of the past decade (Economist). The skills that our students need to be successful in today’s global and changing market include creativity, resilience, entrepreneurship, teamwork, and self-knowledge. Yet these skills are rarely – if ever – focused on or practiced in the current higher ed landscape. Thus, the return on a degree is diminishing rapidly to the point where many are questioning whether a degree is worth the investment at all. Universities aren’t changing fast enough. Many innovative educational organizations are sprouting up around the world, but unfortunately cannot yet offer a degree.

For the first time, Watson is proving that we can offer the skills, experiences, and community that 18-22 year olds are craving in a way that parents and future employers understand: an accredited degree.

The Watson Experience:
Currently Watson selects 15-20 of the world’s most promising changemakers aged 18-23 and convenes them in Boulder, CO for a semester long regiment of award winning training in the entrepreneurial skills of empathy, creativity, resilience, grit, bootstrapping, team building and fundraising; short master courses from the world’s foremost leaders, entrepreneurs, and thinkers including a leader of a Nobel Peace Prize winning movement, one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, and more; and intensive mentorship and authentic community building to give each scholar a fundamentally solid foundation as they are supported to develop and advance solutions to the toughest challenges facing the world.

Today, Watson is announcing, in partnership with an innovative liberal arts university, a revolutionary new college degree in just 2.5 years:
Watson Scholars on the degree track will spend four full semesters at any Watson campus, as well as 3 summers completing online course work through our partner university which can be done from anywhere in the world. Watson’s first campus is in Boulder, Colorado and additional campuses are opening soon in the Philippines, Uganda, and San Francisco.

No Loans:
In addition to providing substantial scholarships, Watson partners with Upstart (upstart.com) to offer a better way for students to pay off tuition using an online income sharing platform. Scholars create a 5 or 10 year agreement and receive an Upstart investment from Watson to cover any tuition costs needed. After graduation, if and only when their salary reaches a pre-established minimum, graduates share a small percentage (less than 5%) of their annual income with Watson. Once the term of the agreement is over, the income sharing agreement is over regardless of how much has been paid. This creates affordable education for the students that works with their progress, not against it. Additionally, unlike with traditional loans, Watson is now fully accountable to the students’ success in the long run. (If Watson doesn’t set the scholar up for a successful life beyond graduation, then Watson doesn’t get paid.)

University Degree:
Scholars who complete the degree track will receive a degree from Watson’s university partner (although Watson still has the one semester track available as well).

Because of this exciting news, Watson is happy to announce that the final application deadline for this fall semester has been extended from April 15th to April 25th, 2014. They have received a record-breaking number of applications already, and are delighted to now extend this offer for the degree track this fall.

Applications for Watson’s Fall 2014 semester are currently open at: www.watsonuniversity.org/apply.

For more information: